Letters to the Editor: April 14

Changes to Townsman, Bulletin, Advertiser; Cominco Gardens

Changes

I am another member of the public that has subscribed to the Daily Townsman for many years, who does not like the reduction of services of our local paper, as well as the Advertiser.

Mr. Chris Johns’ letter to the editor is quite right — what he left out are all the carriers, young and old, who will be making even less extra money, and how the internet access to news contributes to reductions and job losses, etc. It can also be, shall I say, “controlled” even more as to what you are going to see or hear in local, regional or global news.

In the near future, imagine a world, or even province, where computer technology will take over even more. No need for grocery, bank tellers … no need for newspapers, libraries, school teachers and so on.

I remember in elementary school back in the late 1960s reading a story of two children who sat in front of a big square TV screen in their home (a picture showed this in the book), that served as their teacher. I thought ‘Yuk, that’s terrible!’ I sure hope that never happens.

All this technology keep getting shoved on all of us whether we like it or not, want it or not.

Digitalization. A certain few making near trillions off it. It was introduced years ago in media as exciting, and how it will make our our lives so much easier. Well, it’s certainly been a mixture of good, but also bad too. It’s also too bad that there’s so much ‘monopolization’ going on. Papers were better off being owned and run locally. Life was easier and less hectic back in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.

Anyways, don’t kid yourselves — these changes will be hard on a number of people in the industry too. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of them, and the carriers as well, for years of fairly good service. And good luck, Karen (Publisher) on your next new job.

Rhonda (Jackson) Brass/Cranbrook

Cominco Gardens

“Oakley, you should wake up and smell the roses, don’t close down Cominco Gardens!”

Whether its significant dollars needed for Cominco Gardens or even larger sums for things like Marysville Arena, Civic Centre, Centre 64, Gymnastics Centre Conference Centre, Centennial Hall, City Hall, Playgrounds, Sewer and Water Lines, Storm drains, Sewage treatment plant, Mark Creek Dam reservoir, Cemeteries, roads, etc. They all have collective maintenance and renewal needs that exceed annual money available. How did this come to be? One reason is that time marches on and things wear out. Another reason is that we have a lot of assets for a community of 6700, and those assets need to be either refurbished or completely rebuilt now.

Our senior city management has concluded that we are short approximately one million dollars per year to effectively (and sustainably) deal with Kimberley’s infrastructure deficit. For example, old pipes in the ground keep breaking at a rate faster than we can afford to replace them. Another (much larger!) example of this problem is the Kimberley Sewage Treatment plant. This facility is required to comply with provincial and federal regulatory requirements as authorized under permit (PE – 00148). In 2015, the BC Ministry of Environment inspection report indicates concerns with plant age and reliability and states that “this site is likely the highest risk facility in the East Kootenay region.” (Urban Systems Sewage Treatment Operations Survey Report 2015). In addition, this site is also regulated under the Federal Waste-water Systems Effluent Regulation which is currently managed by Environment Canada. This means we need to stay compliant within the Federal Waste-water System Effluent regulations under the Federal Fisheries Act. Lack of compliance could result in legal action under the act. Thus far, the City of Kimberley staff have managed to keep the facility in remarkable operating condition, but – in time – there will be a threshold where a permit amendment is not possible, and that moment will trigger the need for a new modern facility that will meet provincial and federal regulations for years to come. Cost of new sewage treatment plant is estimated at more than 35 million dollars. Where will the money come from? The city has a reserve setup for this, but it is far short of funds needed.

When making decisions on city council I always consider the basic foundation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. The foundation of the pyramid consists of breathing, food, water, sleep, excretion, followed by self actualization on the top of the pyramid. I focus on meeting basic needs before looking higher up the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Kimberley is now at the stage in history where much of it’s infrastructure has to be rebuilt, and its very difficult to juggle rebuilding significant community assets while maintaining the status quo on everything else.

When people tell me to “wake up and smell the roses”, my response will always be: I remain focused on the basic infrastructure needs of our community first, so that the citizens of Kimberley don’t have to “wake up and smell the sewage!”

Darryl Oakley, Councillor, City of Kimberley

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